Even with all the technological advancements, you cannot write off the power of networking and interpersonal relationships. Human interactions and connections can skyrocket your career, keep you updated on developments in your field, lead to new opportunities and business partnerships.
Until two years ago, you could attend events, conferences, shake hands, strike a casual conversation during lunch or coffee break and boom! You have expanded your professional circle. How does one do that in the age of restrictions and video conferences? Has networking also become collateral damage to the pandemic? Let’s take a look.
How much effort should you put into networking....
Let’s be clear. Networking is not opportunistic small talk. You are not schmoozing or manipulating your way into newer opportunities. It is the process of developing long-term relationships in your professional circles for mutual benefits and just expanding your perspectives.
Striking a conversation and following it through might not come naturally to you. But it is a skill that can be developed. Your communication skills will grow by leaps and bounds. It doesn’t matter which stage of your career you are in, networking can lead to advancements. You can gain a mentor or become one, have open conversations about industry insights and collect information on developments and opportunities that are not even public yet. When you have built that level of rapport and trust, you are also looking at a lifetime of referrals and partnership options.
So, yes, as much as you would like to hide from the world after a long day’s work, the energy you invest in networking will bear fruit.